Welcome to FrockTalk, the web’s only costume-based movie review site. The goal of Frocktalk is to shed light on the magnificent artistry of costume design in motion pictures. Reviews on this site are written by working costume designers in the entertainment industry – people who know, better than anyone, what it takes to make it all happen. The focus of FrockTalk is not to comment on the big flashy costume dramas, but to call attention to the seemingly ordinary costume design work in film that silently and persuasively moves the audience toward understanding the characters. Costume design for motion pictures is an art form that deserves more recognition than it usually gets. Fancy, pretty costumes do not always equal effective, appropriate costumes. The art of the costume is in letting the audience know who the character is, before the actor even has a chance to open his mouth. Read on, and enjoy. ** CAUTION: ALL REVIEWS CONTAIN SPOILERS! **

Adventures in Costuming: The Big Muddy Film Festival!

Hello Frocktalkers – hope you had a good weekend! I am back from Carbondale, Illinois, where I spent a few days serving as a juror for the Big Muddy Film Festival. It was a total blast, and I am so inspired by the work I saw there. In total, I think I saw 52 films in about 48 hours (give or take some hours for sleep). Some of them were shorts, but there were many, many 60+ minute films. It was a lot to see, but boy was it fun. We announced the winners on Saturday night, via Beatles Rock Band, singing the titles of the winners. It was awesome.

Tales From the Catholic Church of Elvis

I lobbied to give a special award to the film Tales From the Catholic Church of Elvis for their wonderful and inspired costume design. This was a film made on a shoestring budget, and yet they invested thought, time and effort in creating some beautiful (and hilarious) costumes. From Elvis to nuns, to a Vegas showgirl, to a psycho, eye-patch-wearing Geisha, to a pervy, legless octegenarian, the costumes truly enhanced the story. To pay such attention to detail on a teeny-tiny budget is impressive. Therefore, Costume Designer Alayna Falco is the first recipient of the “Spirit of Costume” award from the Big Muddy Film Festival. Way to go, Alayna!!  And way to go to directors Mercy Malick and Michael Traynor for this funny, engaging film.

Thank you to Southern Illinois University, the Big Muddy Film Festival committee, and to Michele Torre and Howard Motyl for asking me to be a part of this amazing festival. I am honored and inspired!!

Incidentally, the winners of the festival are:

Experimental – Penumbra, by Kimberly McLaughlin

Documentary – Radical Disciple: The Story of Father Pfleger, by Bob Hercules

Animation – Let’s Pollute, by Geefwee Boedoe

Narrative – 5 Dollars, by Clay Jeter

Honorable Mention, Documentary – Too Soon, Too Late, by Adrienne Finelli

Honorable Mention, Narrative – Educating Cooper, by Bryan Litt

More information on the Big Muddy Film Festival:


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